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U.S. Rep. Dent, who represents Middletown in Congress, won’t run again

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Posted 9/13/17

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, whose 15th District includes Middletown, Royalton, Londonderry Township and Hummelstown, won’t seek re-election next year, he announced last week.

Dent, a Republican …

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U.S. Rep. Dent, who represents Middletown in Congress, won’t run again

Posted

U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, whose 15th District includes Middletown, Royalton, Londonderry Township and Hummelstown, won’t seek re-election next year, he announced last week.

Dent, a Republican from Allentown, is serving his seventh term. He is considered a centrist and has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump.

“Frankly, I never planned on serving, voters permitting, more than five or six terms in the U.S. Congress,” he said in a statement on his decision.

Before entering public service, Dent worked as a development officer for Lehigh University, an industrial electronics salesman, and an aide to then-Representative Don Ritter. He served eight years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and six years in the state Senate.

He said it was a “high honor and great responsibility” to serve the district, but he and his family have engaged in “periodic discussions” since the government shutdown in 2013 about his future.

“Earlier this year, my family discussions about the future increased in frequency, and I looped in a small group of immediate family, friends and senior staff, ultimately deciding in mid-summer that I would not seek another term,” he said.

Conservative Republican state Rep. Justin Simmons of Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, had previously announced plans to run against him in the primary, saying that he used to support Dent but that Dent has gone “completely gone off the rails.” Simmons called him “a liberal.”

 Dent is co-chairman of the Tuesday Group Caucus, a group of 50 center-right Republicans “dedicated to effective and responsible governance.”

He is chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies.

“I’ve worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington. I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default,” he said. “Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos.”


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